11th September, 2012 is remembered as the black day in the history of Pakistan, when 289 people were burnt alive in a garments factory located in the Baldia Town area of Karachi. This factory was owned by Ali Enterprise, who used to exports garments items to US and Europe comprising denim, knitted garments, and other hosiery items.
According to reports, there were over 1500 workers belonging to nearby areas used to work in this Baldia Town garments factory in various shifts. These poor workers of this factory used to earn merely about 10,000 to 15,000 thousands rupees a month to support their families. They were unaware of the coming unfortunate incident that took place on the 11th, September, 2012 afternoon. When the factory caught fire from one side and before the fire fighters reached the location fire blazed the whole factory shortly.
The harsh visuals were seen on TV by millions of people, when workers of the factory were shouting for their lives some leaped from the windows of the factory. But, dubiously more than 250 workers who were present inside was burnt alive, because dubiously all exit doors were locked and none of them were able to depart of the factory – consequently lost their lives.
Instantly a JIT (Joint Investigation Team) was formulated to investigate the causes of this ill-fated incident. According to initial report submitted to Sindh Govt elaborated that the workers at that time was gathered to collect their wages and door was locked to cure any theft, which resulted in the massive deaths later. Furthermore, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon at that time also vowed to take stern action against the factory owners.
As a result, the very next day police caught Abdul Aziz and Shahid Bhaila the proprietors of Ali Enterprise, who own this factory. And later the incident handed over to the JIT to investigate in-depth causes of this occurrence.
Latest Dramatic JIT Report Findings
The whole incident took a dramatic turn few days back, when out of the blue JIT submitted their investigation report on 7th, Feb, 2015 Sindh High Court. The report allegedly blamed MQM (Mutahida Quami Movement) behind this heinous Baldia Town inferno.
The report blamed MQM upon statement of a suspect Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi, who is allegedly a worker of MQM. He gave a statement to rangers’ officials revealing that the MQM sector in charge upon orders of their high ups demanded protection money of Rs 200 Million from the owners of Ali Enterprise through some front man. But as the factory owners refuses to pay this Extortion or Protection money the factory was set on fire.
Aftermath of JIT Report
As soon as the report came out an earthquake kind of situation was seen erupting in Karachi, whole media started highlighting the issue and probed the further findings included in the JIT report. On the other hand, in those days the relation between two major Political parties PPP and MQM was not fine as a result rift further enlarged. Also MQM was unable to give any official statement regarding this involvement in Baldia Town Factory incident and regarding the affiliation of suspect Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi with MQM.
Later, MQM refuses to accept any affiliation of party with this man and said that anyone found guilty should be convicted according to law. During the recent visit of PM Nawaz Sharif & Army Chief of Karachi a new JIT was called to investigate the whole incident again and caught real culprits.
According to fresh reports, newly formed JIT through Federal Interior Ministry has placed six suspects named in ECL (Exit Control List). Out of these six men five of them are MQM workers, include Syed Javed Shakil, Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi, Hammad Siddiqui, Abdul Rahman alias Bhola, Asghar Baig and Majid Baig.
Importantly, Hammad Siddiqui an ex- chief of the MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee, whose names is also been placed on the ECL.
But one should wait for the final report to come out to know the truth behind this inferno; the investigation could require a year to complete since it’s a sensitive case.